Radio Dada At the G- E-
Updated: May 6, 2019
[notice: edits have been made to this article to appease particular parties]
The G- E- is a quintessential show house; living room littered with a tasteful decorum of [___OMITTED___], [_____OMITTED_____], and a [______OMITTED______] standing tall on the coffee table, the house breaths an air thick with the "who gives a shit" atmosphere signature to New Brunswick’s (and really any college town's) performing arts scene. Passed the kitchen was a weathered door that lead down to the basement. Plenty of people were occupying the interim spaces from the front door to the house's underground, and once down the steps I was met with a packed floor of New Brunswick youth, all moshing to the sludge punk sonic assault being puke out by local high school band Toad. Only booked on weekends, these late adolescent rockers played to a crowd inconspicuously mixed between high school peers and casual show goers. I only caught the tail end of their set, but from the enthusiasm of the crowds cheering, people obviously had a great time.
There was nothing too remarkable about the basement’s set up, aside from the stage’s horizontal alignment; most basements I’d been to are orientated in a way that forces bands to huddle with their gear into a narrow corner, but The G- E- had the space to afford a more conventional set up.
Entieralos, a three-piece multi-rock band from Newark, took the stage and played their hearts out. The crowd started to mosh the moment their first song began, a deliciously sloppy mix of precision funk riffs complimented by screamed vocals; the guitar and drums were fast and gelled well with wonderfully melodic bass lines, radiating a fierce and vivid energy. The rest of their set shocked me with how versatile their song structures were; most tracks fused a blend of light funk metal with modern alt-rock riffs, seamlessly bouncing between styles, typically within a single phrase. The guitarist was a huge fan of pressing his instrument against the cabinet, producing incredible feedback that had me reeling with joy. Many of his effects were digital, so at times his tone was a bit too flat and reverb heavy for my liking, but aside from that, the marriage between the guitar’s twangy-jaunty play style with the bassists aggressive picking made the whole set a head-banger's dream. The end of their set saw the band shirtless, an assertive act making them vulnerable but bold; embracing the basements fervor, the guitarist threw himself into the mosh, still shredding away while being pushed and shoved by his adoring audience.
Following the Modern-Latinx Rockers were the Post-Post-Modern Punk Dada Dolls, an all femme punk band made up of New Brunswick locals. Speaking into what looked like the body of a CBS microphone, their lead singer opened with a brief announcement expressing her gratitude for being able to perform with her band and the effect they have as an artistic platform of feminine expression; she then explained how pre-chosen female poets would be reading in between each of their songs. She continued to say something about the superficiality of being in a band, mumbling through her fuzz filtered microphone, but her words were lost in the chatter of the drunken crowd. As the band’s lead proceeded to flail and scream, feeding into their faithful fan’s fanatic energy, the band members stood stiff focusing on playing their heavily Riot Grrl inspired tunes. Their sound was very clean; as a result much of the rhythm and lead guitar were tonally drowned out by the bassist's deep low end. The twangy treble of the lead guitar was my favorite aspect of their audio pallet, and it bothered me how the playful frills and fills being produced were overshadowed by the rest of the outfit's sound. Their first song ended as quick as it started and suddenly someone was up to read. Her poem trailed through trials of ethnic doubt and a struggle for deserved racial identity, alternating between lines delivered in English and Spanish; it was heartfelt and sincere, but difficult to hear over the basement crowd and the band's misguided attempt at providing musical support for the reader’s spoken word performance. Their second song saw the lead singer making out with the floor, knees planted and upper body swinging with the momentum of her flailing teal hair. A reader followed with a short poem soaked in sex; the crowd was all ears for this one. The lead singer followed by saying how much men sucked and the crowed cheered in compliance; the rhythm guitarist then went on a rant reprimanding public gawkers, stalkers, and male sex solicitors (you could almost consider their act to be an open femme-punk forum). Finally the drummer gave her two cents with an anecdote about a book report she wrote at the age of ten; the bassist said nothing and stood with a coy smile. Overall, they’re fine for a college band, but their tonal imbalance leaves something to be desired; the lead guitar could be louder, the drums could be tighter, the vocals should be audible. They closed their set with the crowd taking a knee as the lead sang laying down on her back; the drummer had to point out this was to symbolize she was dead. Funny enough the song reminded me a bit of Free Bird, or a sentimental indie break up song, but that might just be me.
The last band was another all femme punk outfit called Jigsaw Youth; a weaponized high-octane punk rock war machine that embodied the best of late 80’s punk. These Staten Island natives were a ferocious blend of gritty grunge, surf-punk, with a bit of a no-wave sensibility to their song-structure and vocal deliveries. Extremely tasty and the high-light of the night for me (To be honest though, I was about five Steel Reserves deep by this point in the night, so I would've lost my mind to a brick in a rinse cycle, but listening to their EP sober, I gotta say they're truly fantastic and worth lending your ears to!)